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Life of the Urban Poor

Life of the Urban Poor

This article refers to a new age of urban Indians who feel that being trendy is of more importance than the basic needs of a person with a shelter and food. The new rich-poor lifestyle should not be confused with actual poverty. This condition is caused by the unavailability of finances due to the choices of lifestyle to appear fashionable and popular.

Many people are against referring to them as the urban poor because there are a lot of people who are literally living from one benefited day to the next. The Millennials are not at all poor but they certainly are broke and hungry almost all the time. Most privileged youths of this generation are placed in this category. The problem of the urban poor is the product of intimidation which young adults experience every day from their peers.They are the young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 and have interiorized the pressures and intimidations surrounding them.

Instead of spending their money on basic needs, they prefer to spend it on keeping up appearances and the lifestyle that they think is the key to having a social standard.

They are referred as 'urban poor' and not poor, strictly, because of the reason that they have the choice of how they want to spend their money - whether to buy an expensive dress or to invest, to buy a car or to secure the future by buying insurance, to eat in the office or to buy an expensive sandwich at the famous restaurant nearby and so on.

The ability to choose how to spend their earnings is what distinguishes them from the actual poor. Millennials have been provided for, unlike their parents. The perspective to life for Millennials is totally different. They want more harmonization between life and work and want to reach the top quickly.

Many of these Millennials are living in debts and are broke despite their trendy lifestyles. In six major cities in India, a survey was carried out which shows that 80 per cent Millennials yearn to lead or make it to a managerial position and 59 per cent want fast growth in a company.

urban poor

For instance, I heard of a marketing executive quite young, bought a car with her very first salary and now sleeps in the car instead of renting a suitable apartment with her salary. There was another story of a young girl who aspired to make her name in the Bollywood movie scenery. She was a one-time national-level beauty pageant participant and was forced to take a job of a performer at an underground bar in Mumbai to maintain her expensive lifestyle. The temporary job became a permanent solution in absence of any opportunity in entertainment industry
urban poor
How about a junior journalist, who for a period comes into work less often than normal, she appears thinner every time she comes into the office. She kept on insisting that it was due to the jogging she does every evening. When she is always nowhere to be found during lunchtime and was found sipping cold coffee all day, it was noticed. She was asked if she had enough money for food. She then explained that even when she had enough money, she would stay till after 6 pm to go to an expensive restaurant and pay Rs.200 for a sandwich. The canteen at the office provides meals all day that she could afford but for her, it was important to make an impression.

Millennials believe in buying now and saving later and living a lifestyle they cannot afford. They spend excessively to fit in with friends and mismanage their earning just to be socially accepted by the society. We all have fallen prey to the obsession to keeping appearances at one time or the other in our life. The trick is to recognize the pattern and get a hold of our own life and understand the difference between need and want. Needs can be fulfilled, wants are never-ending.

Being financially secure is more important than looking affluent to others. People forget that actual prosperity is in living stress-free and financially independent so that we can enjoy life to the fullest. One can never enjoy life if he or she is burdened with lies and debts. We can try to accept our circumstances and plan our finances accordingly to match our living standard. This will help in living our life rather than just paying for it.

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